The Naive Night Auditor

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” said Basil Bakal, owner of the 200-room Holiday Inn Express in Baytown.

“No, I’m not kidding. He sold them all,” replied Sandy Lamia, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

Together, Basil and Sandy served as the hotel’s revenue management team.

It was February 6. Sandy had just informed Basil that Mike Brennan, the hotels’ new night auditor, had, late last night, taken 17 separate reservations. Each reserving guest had purchased nine rooms. Each reservation was for one night, and all were scheduled to arrive November 22.

Because the buyers had purchased in quantity, Mike had given each a 10 percent room discount; the normal amount permitted by Basil and Sandy when a reservation agent was quoting rates for a multiroom sale. Mike had sold every remaining available room for that date.

“But that’s the weekend of the Annual Sailboat Show. The city will be packed! We always sell out that weekend. We never sell at discount, and we always require a three-night minimum stay on each room.

“I know,” replied Sandy. “But Mike’s new. He said he didn’t know. No one told him.”

  1. As experienced RM, why do you think Basil and Sandy would require a three-night minimum stay for guests reserving rooms during the Annual Sailboat Show?
  2. Given what you know about differential pricing, why would they eliminate discounts on the rooms sold during the weekend of the Annual Sailboat Show?
  3. How could Basil and Sandy ensure that all desk agents at their hotel were aware of all special future sale dates? How could they themselves stay abreast of the future dates they should be carefully monitoring?